Monday, September 29

Another busy week

Today is Monday. I have:
gone to the post office
gone to the library
gone to the toy store (looking for a baby, found and purchased a tea set)
gone to the grocery store
washed 3 loads of laundry (yet to fold any of it though)
returned several important emails
made a huge batch of chicken tortilla soup for dinner and to freeze
napped for an hour :-)
had a couple of important phone conversations
bathed and put down a sleepy girl
snuck into a sleeping baby's room to retrieve the camera so I can post pictures for you!

I still need to:
fold laundry (haha)
finish this blog
call two important people (Kyla and Julie, I really intend to talk to you both tonight!)
receive a foot massage (hint hint)

For the rest of this week...
meet my spiritual guide for spiritual direction
pick up some free disposable diapers for Luke's first few days from freecycle
pick up a Little Tyke's slide for Beth from freecycle (wohoo!)
meet my priest for confession
pack my bag for the birth center
pack our bags for our trip this weekend
wash more laundry (one or two loads) and iron things for this weekend
go to Target and buy a gift for a friend who just had a baby
go to somewhere and buy a wedding gift
go to my midwife appointment
go to the grocery store AGAIN to pick up my new iron prescription and some orange juice
finish fixing the @#(* fish tank
make and freeze more food

My day planner is a mess. I need a vacation.

On Sunday morning our fish tank sprang a leak. Or sometime the night before- I woke up to soggy carpet and a half-full fish tank. (I'll just make a quick note here that Ryan was gone that night for his brother's bachelor party.) I saved the fish by catching everyone and putting them in a bucket (we have a zillion Platys now thanks to their incredible reproductive rates and lack of concern for mating with their siblings) and Beth and I drove to Petsmart to get silicone to fix the leak. It takes a minimum of 48 hours before we can put water back in the tank so the fish are still living in a bucket on the floor, and I hand-aerate the water for them a few times a day (though I'm not sure why since these guys managed a week without power). Spoiled fish- they're lucky I'm such an animal lover. And on a funny/sad note, at Petsmart all their fish tanks were empty! Apparently they didn't have stud survival fish like we did over the power outage!

I got a call from my midwife tonight with some semi-bad news: my iron and hemoglobin is incredibly low again. And I've been taking my daily suppliments faithfully! So tomorrow I have to go pick up a new prescription and take it twice a day to try to get my levels up to normal before this baby comes. Otherwise I could be in a bit of trouble... I know, I'll take it with orange juice and I'll try to eat more red meat and spinach. *sigh* I hate spinach.

Ok here are the pictures that I put myself out on a limb to obtain for you. This was after dinner and she was running in circles around me. They're cute! :-)



Saturday, September 27

Mail!

Checking the mail at our house is a very big event every day. Beth gets every excited when I say "mail" because it means we get to go outside for a few minutes during the day! I know that sounds awful, like we're cooped up all the time, but during the middle of the summer and right now with the mosquitoes- who can stand to be outside??? Not me. Anways, our mailbox is a community mailbox right across the street so she usually carries the keys as we walk over there. It's usually exciting to me too as I check for magazines or diapers or books that I've ordered. :-) But today we had a surprise in the mail! A sweet friend sent Beth and Luke each a gift! Thank you Sean and Mandi!


Last night I spent a whopping two hours on my sewing machine. Seriously. First I had to remind myself how to turn it on, lol, and then I started playing with my next project. I wanted to make Beth a fleece diaper cover using this pattern (all the pictures on that site are of wool though). Since I knew this would be an experiment, I used super-cheap fleece from Wal-Mart and unfortunately I chose black- it was going to be for another project but I didn't have enough of the other color I had. Anyways, I cut the pattern and just went at it since the directions were online and Ryan was busy doing something online. At one point the bobbin ran out of thread so I had to open the manual and figure out how to thread that, and that took up quite a bit of time, lol. I used a zig-zag stich because I thought it looked cool but now I realize that probably was a bad idea since the seams already feel like they're about to rip. I don't think it's tight enough. I guess this is how to learn- trial and error, right? I should probably also figure out if I need a special kind of thread to sew with fleece.

The white is the thread showing through because I didn't get the fabric lined up correctly. And one leg opening looks smaller than the other...it's a little puckered, the seams don't match and overall it's pretty ugly. And it's too small for Beth despite the XL toddler measurements I used!

It looks like it fits her in this photo because she has no diaper on underneath! There are several things I really like about it though and will try to incorporate those things while making it prettier and sturdier next time. I'm afraid to wash this one! Fleece is a good cover for cloth diapers because it breathes like wool but is cheaper than wool. :-) Once I get it down with the Wal-Mart fleece, I'll buy some pretty fleece and make her some real ones. I might even venture out and make fleece pants- watch out Old Navy!

This morning we met with our doula for the second time. She came to our house and we talked about our birth plan and ironed out a few details that Ryan and I just hadn't talked about yet. We also went over some laboring positions which is good since I haven't done that for almost 2 years. ;-) She asked if we had any fears about labor... I honestly said no. I am so excited, giddy, happy, anxious about birth but I am definitely not scared or fearful. I fully believe this birth will be a lot of work and probably some pain (ha!), but I have confidence in my body that it will perform as God intended. And I completely trust my support team- I love how my midwives are so confident; they make ME feel empowered. I know Ryan will do an excellent job and having the doula there for backup is also going to be awesome. I don't know if by having this viewpoint I'm setting myself up for failure or if I'm preparing myself to perform well. But it's truly how I feel!

Thursday, September 25

Incredibly busy day

Today was incredibly busy for us! I am so worn out!

Beth woke up at 8:00 (thankfully, those mornings are blessed) and we got started by eating, dressing, and heading to the orthodontist. Beth behaved herself pretty well, luckily it was a short appointment. After that we went to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner, then we came home and had lunch with Ryan. I spent the latter half of lunch prepping for an interview while Ryan put Beth down for her nap. While she was sleeping, I called to conduct the interview and wrote my article, and wouldn't you know the second I type the last period little miss Beth wakes up from her nap. So I went to get her and we played for a few minutes before she asked for her routine after-nap snack, so I got her set up with her snack and I started cooking dinner at 2:30. I have a friend who recently had a baby but is still without power, so I cooked dinner for her family and her husband stopped by to pick it up on his way home from work. As soon as I finished dinner, Ryan got home and I was able to sit down and put my feet up for a little bit. Ahh, a little piece of heaven. :-)

After dinner Ryan covered himself up and worked out in the yard a bit, getting the last of the big limbs out of our backyard and some more general post-hurricane cleaning. We still haven't had our debris picked up, I'm pretty sure our entire neighborhood is going to have huge dead patches of grass in their front yards! Luckily we already had a dead patch to pile our limbs on, lol. I just finalized my third article (yay!) and now I'm ready to relax!

Darned huge mosquito in my daughter's room! Don't worry, he was mostly dead when I took this picture (and all dead afterward!).




Baby.

Tuesday, September 23

Attack of the mosquitoes!

I don't know why I didn't even think about mosquitoes as another aftermath of the hurricane, but sure enough they are here and SWARMING. It's insane how many are outside our front door especially, and I mean they are big suckers. It's really scary to take Finley outside to do his business, I put on pants and a long shirt and wrap Beth up in a blanket.

I just got home from the midwife. Luke has flipped to head down and back out, just as he should be! She took some blood to check my iron (since I have a history of iron problems) and refilled my iron prescription. I'm at the point where I go in every single week now so my next appointment will be next Thursday.

On another note, I got a job. I am now "editor" for reviewit Magazine, a local magazine that caters to high-end clients. They call me editor but all I am is a freelance writer on contract. They offered me the job on Monday and immediately assigned me two articles due Thursday because of the hurricane stuff. So baptism by fire, so to speak! It will give me the opportunity to continue writing while making a little money on the side, without taking up too much of my time. Yesterday I worked while Beth was napping and sleeping at night and while Ryan was at work and class, and I've already written the two articles (just waiting for commments from the clients). I'm excited to be "contributing" as this is something I've personally struggled with (I think most stay-at-home moms do at some point) but without taking time away from my family. Hopefully it will continue to work out as well after Luke is born too. The down side is that I'm not feeling very verbose right now after writing those two articles, so I'm also hoping my blog writing doesn't suffer either!

Monday, September 22

Sunday, September 21

Cleaning Up

Wow are we sore! After mass today, we fueled ourselves with a couple of Shipley's donuts (yummy!) and began our day of cleaning up. Ryan got started with our neighbor outside by taking down a couple of trees that were already half-down, and Beth and I made piles of sticks and limbs. Ryan worked outside literally almost all day, with the exception of a lunch break and a few small breaks here and there. He made incredible progress though! I unpacked from our trip, cleaned the house, cooked, played with Beth...the usual stuff. We are both incredibly tired and sore (I don't know why I'm sore, I guess just because I'm 36 weeks preggo?). I am so thankful that I have a husband who enjoys working outside and takes pride in his lawn! What he did today would have cost us a fortune if we'd hired someone!

Yay for nice neighbors with chainsaws. :-)

Lots of work to do!

This picture does not do the pile justice. It's huge!

After- almost done!

Poor Finley wants to come out to play but can't because of the huge hole in the fence!

Saturday, September 20

Hurricane Update

A little update...

As you may have figured out, I scheduled some of those previous posts so that they'd go up while I figured we'd be out of electricity. Since our power went out early Saturday, on Sunday we left to go stay with my parents for the week. We had power restored to our house Friday evening, so we came home today. Our house didn't smell funny (I'm glad I cleaned out the fridge because the garage STINKS) but we did have a couple of minor fatalities- 2 fish. We have a tank full of mollys and platys, and when the power went out so did their water filter. It appears one was suicidal (he was foundcurled up on the carpet) and the other apparently donated his body to feed his companions. The rest somehow survived the week without freshly-oxygenated water. Our neighbor was kind enough to come to our house and use his chainsaw on our trees to make it a litte easier to haul out to the curb. Our street it filled with debris; 6-foot high piles of limbs are on everyone's curb. Since we're in the cul-de-sac, we don't have much of a curb so our pile stretches from the curb almost to our house, and we've barely begun putting limbs and tree trunks out there.

We did manage to have a nice, unplanned vacation at my parent's house. Ryan and I were able to spend a lot of time together since my mom and sister jumped at the opportunity to take care of Beth! The two of us actually went out and saw a movie!!! (If any of you personally know us, you know what a huge deal this is.) We received free movie passes from trying on pants at American Eagle- so we had no excuse. We went to see The Dark Knight (the Batman movie) and it was totally awesome, I'm glad we went. Another day we went to daily mass at the Cathedral we were married at, went to lunch and did some window shopping. I keep thinking these will be our last "alone" moments before we have Luke but somehow we keep having the opportunitity for more little dates. It's really nice. :-)

It's probably coincidental, but Beth has been highly-medicated this week also. Nothing serious, but a few days before the hurricane business started I took her to the pediatrician for an infected cut. He told me she had cellulitis and gave me a prescription cream for that. A few days later I noticed the peeling on her big toe (which I thought was a blister) was getting worse and spreading to her other toes... so now we're treating her for athlete's foot. Then a day after that she took a little tumble and scratched up her face and got a few minor cuts on her legs, so I'm smearing Neosporin on her three times a day. All of this on top of the usual mosquito bites and 3 ant bites and our girl is slathered in 4 different creams at the end of the day! The good news is everything is clearing up as it should be, especially her athelete's foot and the scrapes on her face. It's taking awhile for the cellulitis to clear up but it is getting better. Don't ask me how the child got athlete's foot, but it seems to be responding to the cream really quickly!

Enough typing. Here are some pictures:

Ryan had Friday off from work so he could prepare his family for the storm. We prepared by spending a lot of time outside with Beth and Finley to try to get some energy out! Ryan had a whopping 6 days off from work (plus 4 weekend days) so this might be his longest vacation ever!

There was a beautiful sunset the night before the storm...

During the eye of the storm, Ryan went outside to inspect some of the damage.

Two trees that snapped in half were right outside of our bedroom windows. Thank you guardian angels for watching over us!

What's left of my garden, lol. Time to work on my fall garden now I guess!

She was splashing around in some run-off water as daddy gave the car its first bath to wash off bugs from the trip.

My poor Pookah kitty! Beth adores "mow mows" and Pumpkin is just old enough to not really care how she's being treated, lol. Hence, Beth was able to pick her up for a minute before I rescued my old geriatric kitty. She's about 16 years old!

A sweet picture of Beth and Maw Maw. :-)

Beth and Uncle Alex. My brother is 6 and loves being an uncle!

This is how it looked today when we got home- it's not so fresh-looking anymore. This is part of our backyard, you can tell the lightning tree has been sawed into multiple parts waiting to be hauled to the curb. Not to mention the millions of limbs!

36 weeks

Holy monkey am I ever pregnant. Just in this past week I have begun to feel stretched beyond my limits- I wouldn't be surprised if my first stretch marks made an appearance this upcoming week. I was feeling some really painful movements a few days ago, it felt like he was jabbing me in the cervix. Not the usual normally-pleasant baby movements, but enough to make me stop walking, keel over, grab my belly, and moan really loudly. Absolutely nothing is wrong with me or him, I have a feeling he was switching positions again (hopefully to the correct position now). I missed my midwife appointment last week but have rescheduled it to this Tuesday, so I'll have more news then.

This picture makes me uncomfortable just looking at it. I feel like a house but I think this picture makes me look like a blimp!

Monday, September 15

Survival mode

As you can probably guess, I had these previous posts scheduled for your entertainment while we were braving the hurricane without power. Hope you enjoyed them, lol, unless you too were out of power!

Hurricane Ike hit our house after 1am on early Saturday. The power went out almost as soon as it started raining! Ryan and I stayed outside until about 11 pm that night, sitting on our driveway with our neighbors, enjoying the incoming breeze. When we finally went to bed, the power was still on but I didn't sleep much that night- we had Beth in our room with us in her Pack n Play and she didn't really want to sleep in there. When she did finally go to sleep, the wind was howling and then the rain started. I got up several times that night to go look out the windows, especially after hearing branches break and a tree fall. We were very lucky that nothing big hit our house considering how many trees we have in our backyard! Beth got up around 6:30 that morning as the winds were strong as ever, then things started slowing down around lunchtime. The eye passed right over us as I understand it, but the eye wasn't calm like I thought it would be. The rain continued but the wind slowed a bit, then things started picking up and the wind changed direction. The rest of the storm was pretty strong, but to me it seemed like the first part was stronger than the second part. At one point, probably during the eye, Ryan and our neighbor walked up and down our street to go check out the damage. My husband is as crazy as those news reporters you see holding onto stop signs for dear life just to get a good story! Luckily he didn't blow away. :-) As the hurricane passed, basically all that happened was the wind died down. It continued to rain but it wasn't horizontal rain anymore- it was just lots of regular rain.

Overall I would say it wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought there would be more rain- and don't get me wrong, there was a lot (our rain gauge was completely full at 7 inches- I know we got more!). But I expected thunder and lightning and we didn't get any thunder, maybe a few flashes of lightning. The winds were definitely crazy- and the damage to houses and fences on our street are there to prove it. On our street we had at least 4 or 5 houses with major roof damage- one guy 4 houses from us had 2 trees on his roof and 2 big ones in his front yard. We sustained major fence damage from a neighbor's tree- but I don't feel it's anything I can complain about. I'm very thankful that our tree that broke in half- our "lightning tree" as we call it- fell away from our bedroom window where the three of us were sleeping.

The power is still out so Ryan is not able to go to work and now we're in survival mode. Stores are out of food and all of our perishable food has perished. Luckily a cool front has moved through so people are experiencing some relief from the heat. As a 35- week preggo, I'd say that experiencing this wasn't a really big deal. Obviously my water didn't break but I will say that Luke had seemingly non-stop hiccups during the storm!

I don't have the capability of uploading photos right now, but when I do I will get them up!

Sunday, September 14

Mommy's shoes

She loves to wear my shoes- most especially my heels. She's getting pretty good at walking in them, too! She grabs them out of the closet and brings them to the bathroom or kitchen so she can walk on the tile to hear the noise the heels make. :-)


Saturday, September 13

"Doggy"

The epitome of "puppy dog eyes."

Wouldn't be a boxer without at least a small underbite!

"Play?"

Friday, September 12

What a joke


I can't believe I actually saw this ad on the Food Network. This ad is wrong on so many levels! The corn industry must really be suffering right now to put this on the air. They say there's nothing wrong with HFCS every now and then... But when it's in almost every product on the shelves these days, how can you even begin to allow it in moderation? With the links to childhood obesity, diabetes, ADHD... It's not a chance I'm willing to take. Not to mention the red food dye... And I love how in the commercial the mom can't explain why it's nasty, so she must be the ignorant one. *bangs head on desk* Crazy.

Thursday, September 11

A few minutes of playtime

We spend a lot of time in Beth's room playing and reading these days, it's easy for me to sit in the Lazy-Boy while she plays or sits with me. We keep all of her toys and books in there so it's the best place to contain the mess. ;-) She's really enjoying playing alone, though she won't play alone unless I'm in the room with her. We do a lot of reading too, mostly it's looking at pictures while I narrate a story that involves her making animal noises or pointing out things in the book.

A real smile!

I think this picture of her looks like a lot of my toddler photos. Finally, she looks like me!

Beth and Eric

Here she's making her crocodile noise- she says "na!" (snap!) and closes her hand together. Recently she's also gotten the lion and elephant down- lions says "roar!" and the elephant involves moving her arm around in front of her face like a trunk.


Ha, and this book is funny because on the last page there's a "peek a boo" mirror and the flap moves down to reveal the mirror. Beth always sticks the bottle in her mouth (yes, it's gotten a little gross) but what's funny is the girl has taken maybe 3 bottles in her life? And she was too tiny to remember. I want to know where she learned how to suck on a bottle, lol.

Staying put

In the event anyone was concerned about Hurricane Ike, we're staying put. I think we're far out enough from major harm's way, we'll most likely get lots of rain and wind but we definitely won't flood. What I'm a teeny-tiny bit concerned about is that I saw on a t.v. program that the sudden changes in barometric pressure can make a woman's water break and go into labor! I'm sure this isn't a real problem, but of course it's something I'm thinking about because I have to be worried about something! My brother has evacuated and he'll be staying with us until it's safe for him to go back to school.

And on 9.11.08, we'll be praying for the souls lost seven years ago. This is a beautiful blog for today, though it's not directly related to 9.11.

May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, September 9

A sample of portraits

From our maternity session a few weeks ago.





Our first morning apart

I'm here to report that we both survived our morning apart with my meeting up at church. My meeting started at 9:30 so I showed up at 9:10 to drop her off at the nursery. There was one other kid in there and two nursery workers, so the numbers were in our favor (Beth tends to get overwhelmed when we walk into a room with a zillion kids). I took her straight to the play kitchen (always her favorite!) and we started playing, all the new toys were really exciting to her! After a few minutes I asked one of the workers to come over and play with us, then a few minutes after that I told her I was going bye bye but would be back very soon. She didn't really want me to leave so I waited around until she became involved in play again with the worker then snuck out. They said she didn't even realize I had left! They called me about halfway through my meeting to come change her diaper so I did that, put her down on the floor and she ran off and didn't look back. At the end of my meeting (2 hours long) I came to get her, she was very happy to see me and ready to leave and didn't fuss at all. We picked up for a minute then left!

So overall I would say very successful. It was incredibly nice for me to be able to give 100% of my attention to my meeting, though I know that will change again in a few short weeks! I was so worried about leaving her but she did just fine. I'm trying to see a lesson in this- that my girl is growing up or that maybe I don't give her enough credit where credit is due. She constantly surprises me with her understanding of the way the world works. I'll tell you what, I rocked her a little longer before her nap today. Because soon that will change too- she'll be my only baby for just a few more weeks. And I have to admit, that makes me a little sad because I love her so incredibly much and I can't imagine having to share my time with another kid (I'm sure she's thinking the same thing!). I know I'll fall in love with Luke the same way I fell in love with Beth as I held her for the first time after she was born, but in the mean time everything is still so abstract. I can't wait to meet this little guy but I'm also anxious to see how it will change my relationship with Beth.

Sunday, September 7

Sneak Peek

This will be Beth's flower girl dress in Ryan's brother's wedding in October. Now I have to find some white, closed-toe shoes, a light pink bow that she'll actually keep in her hair, and a basket. We're going to start practicing throwing petals now!



We also decided today what her Halloween costume will be... But you'll have to wait to see that one. It was a very easy decision and she's going to B so cute!!! ;-)

Saturday, September 6

Busy week

We've been pretty busy the past few days so that's why I haven't gotten any good pictures to put up! Yesterday morning we went to a consignment sale at one of the mega-churches around here and WOAH buddy, I think every mom in our town was there! It was insane! I went directly to check out double strollers and by the time I got there, 10 minutes after the doors were opened, only 2 double strollers were left (and they were the ugly ones, lol). Then we checked out white shoes for Beth (she'll need them to be a flower girl in a month!) and we didn't have any luck finding any that fit her fat foot. Then I thought to go look for a play kitchen set for her- all gone (I could see the moms that grabbed the good ones in the checkout line already!). Looks like I wasn't cut out to be a consignment-shopping mom, lol, or at least not yet. Next time I'll be there before the doors open and without a toddler on my preggo hip. ;-)

Tonight we have my brother staying with us for the night, he's coming in soon to watch some football then he'll spend the night studying for medical school while Ryan and I go to his brother's engagement party. It'll be the first time we leave Beth with anyone other than Ryan's parents or my parents... She'll be asleep by the time we leave but it's still a big step. Soon I'm going to have to start leaving her with the childcare program at church while I have meetings and I'm not looking forward to that at all! But there's really no other option for me since there would be no way for me to pay attention to my meeting with Beth *and* Luke. I know she'll be okay, and run off and play with all the new toys and other kids; it seems I'm the one with the attachment issue!

Thursday, September 4

We're ready now!

I think this was truly the only thing we actually needed in order to have a new baby. And here it is, the Graco Safe Seat:
(thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!!)

And here's a pic of Beth with her babies. :-) I'm going to try making her a sling again tonight- the other one I "made" was too big but not deep enough!

Wednesday, September 3

Midwife checkup

Just a quick note to say my appointment went well (of course). Luke is now laying transverse- which doesn't really surprise me cause this kid MOVES a LOT, but it's not really a good thing either. As long as he continues moving a lot and doesn't stay in this position... Transverse means his head is on my right hip and his bottom is at my left hip, his back is down where his head should be and his limbs are all pointing up toward my head. Which would explain the punches and kicks to my diaphragm and my constant sudden shortness of breath!

Tuesday, September 2

Climbing and Opening

In the past week, Beth has started two new things that really signify to me that she's "growing up"- she can open doors now and she's attempting to climb out and in of her crib. I never thought she's be one of those kids who tries to climb out of her crib, but sure enough I've seen her do it (and almost succeed) twice. Luckily both times were when I was in the room and she insisted on playing in her crib, and instead of asking me to pick her up she just decided she'd let herself out. She had *both* legs up on the top rail, sort of horizontally suspended between the top bars. I don't like to think about what would have happened if she fell out, but we're keeping her in her crib for now because this isn't something she does when she wakes up from a nap. She's really lazy when she wakes up in the mornings or from a nap- usually I let her wake up for 5-10 minutes before going to get her (she's actually happier that way!) but when I go in she's still laying down, playing with her blanket and Pooh bear. Once I walk in there and see her trying to climb out, then we'll talk about moving the toddler bed in there. We scored a free toddler bed on Freecycle and it's been sitting in our garage- we weren't planning on moving it inside until Luke is about 4 months and Beth is about 26 months. But if she's going to start these stunts then it's better to do it sooner than later I'd think. I'm not looking forward to her having that sort of freedom though! Ack!


In the past week she's also mastered the art of opening doors. She's so proud of herself! I didn't realize what a huge deal this would be! I bought some little child-door things a few months ago when I found them on sale, but now that I've had to install them I don't think I have enough! I didn't consider that I'd have to do the pantry and laundry room also- two of her favorite places! I have them on the guest/computer room, bathroom, laundry room and pantry since those are the potentially dangerous rooms. Hopefully she won't learn how to get those open for a few more years!



Tonight we had one of our parish priests join us for dinner. He will be doing Luke's baptism so we wanted to talk a little about that as well as just let him know we appreciate his work around the church! He blessed our new car (maybe a little too late as I *already* have a crack in the windshield thanks to a stray rock on the highway!) and we were able to eat in peace since Beth had already gone to bed!

Quick prayer request: tomorrow my friend Emily is being induced into labor! Please pray for her and her family as they welcome their first son!
 
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